# Breaking the (Benford) Law

@article{TamCho2007BreakingT, title={Breaking the (Benford) Law}, author={Wendy K. Tam Cho and Brian J. Gaines}, journal={The American Statistician}, year={2007}, volume={61}, pages={218 - 223} }

Benford's law is seeing increasing use as a diagnostic tool for isolating pockets of large datasets with irregularities that deserve closer inspection. Popular and academic accounts of campaign finance are rife with tales of corruption, but the complete dataset of transactions for federal campaigns is enormous. Performing a systematic sweep is extremely arduous; hence, these data are a natural candidate for initial screening by comparison to Benford's distributions.

## 124 Citations

Testing the Newcomb-Benford Law: experimental evidence

- EconomicsApplied Economics Letters
- 2019

ABSTRACT The (Newcomb-)Benford Law has been widely used to detect fraud in data from accounting and finance, or in economic, survey and scientific data. Many empirical studies rely on the outcomes of…

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This paper contributes to the debate on Benford’s law testing by proposing a method to overcome the “excess power problem” critique, so widespread in this literature. In particular we suggest using…

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If a data set deviates from Benford's law, is that evidence that the figures within are fraudulent? Perhaps not, says William Goodman. To those hoping for an automatic fraud detector, he argues that…

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- EconomicsNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
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Reality Checks for a Distributional Assumption: The Case of “Benford’s Law”

- Business
- 2013

In recent years, many articles have promoted uses for “Benford’s Law,” claimed to identify a nearly ubiquitous distribution pattern for the frequencies of first digits of numbers in many data sets.…

Benford's Law, Families of Distributions and a Test Basis

- Mathematics
- 2014

Benford's Law is used to test for data irregularities. While novel, there are two weaknesses in the current methodology. First, test values used in practice are too conservative and the test values…

Deficit versus social statistics: empirical evidence for the effectiveness of Benford’s law

- Economics
- 2014

When analysing the quality of data, nonconformity with Benford’s law can be a useful indicator of poor data quality, which may be a result of fraud or manipulation. In this article, we use Benford’s…

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- Mathematics
- 2013

Benford’s law has been used by auditors to help reveal data manipulation not only in the context of tax audits and corporate accounting, but also election fraud. The principle idea behind Benford’s…

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